§ Mr. Speller
asked the Secretary of State for Transport if he will seek to amend current regulations in order to allow a 16-year-old—learner tractor driver to drive on the public road before the date on which he takes his driving test.
§ Mrs. Chalker:
The minimum age for tractor drivers was reduced from 17 to 16 in the Road Traffic Act 1962 with the restriction, in the interests of road safety, that the provisional licence-holder may not drive on public roads except to take the driving test. This is now a provision of the Motor Vehicles (Driving Licences) Regulations 1981, Regulation 4(1)(c). Learners on tractors cannot be accompanied by a qualified driver, and at 16 it is better for them to practise away from the public road.